Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eat Pray Love the movie

There were plenty of people at the 10:30 a.m. showing of "Eat Pray Love," many of them women who traveled to the theater alone, just like me. I kind of wished we could form an impromptu discussion group after the movie was over.

I was divided over the book, enjoying it as a travelogue enough to overcome my philosophical differences with the author, namely that I can't really applaud a story that involves walking away from a marriage, going on a solo journey to find yourself, then at the end, well, falling in love with another guy. It does seem like a very Hollywood story in that way, that the end of every journey must involve falling in love. But who says you have to be in perfect sync with the author's worldview to enjoy a book?

Anyway, getting back to the movie...I did think Julia Roberts looked the part of the smart, likeable author and played miserable and exuberant equally well. And as much as I hate to admit it, the movie was much more effective than the book at transporting me to plates of delicious Italian food, the floors of an ashram in India, and finally to the beaches of Bali.

I do wish Hollywood could do as much justice to the "pray" part as it does to the "eat" and "love" parts. It mostly just shows her being frustrated with it and making some friends at the ashram, skipping the electric sort of meditation experience she has in the book. I wonder why. Are moviegoeers that uncomfortable with spirituality?

No, a movie can't possibly match the intimacy of a book. And no, they didn't rewrite the story to my liking. Still, I'll take a beautiful-looking movie about self-discovery over an action flick any time.

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